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Ursula Dean

it's been quiet on the blog for a spell.  sometimes it feels completely natural to share things here, even fairly personal things.  i realize now that going into your 50s opens up a whole new side of life you decidedly weren't dwelling on earlier.  your parents aging (very hard).  your children becoming teenagers or moving out of the house (if you're an old mum like me).  your marriage changing for better or worse (better).  your sense of self reaching a kind of plateau.  the ease with which you cry and the things you find yourself crying about are sometimes unexpected.  looking back at your life for answers.  i read a book a few weeks ago by julian barnes called the sense of an ending.  fiction.  the narrator is in his 60s i suppose but begins looking for answers in his 20s when he was at college.  there is a spurned love affair.  close mates, one of whom marries the girlfriend that eluded him.  while he goes on to marry someone else, have children and divorce - he finds himself back speaking with the girlfriend from his youth and that's when things get decidedly ugly.  you see the narrator has in his head one version of things.  as he pushes the old girlfriend for answers after the suicide of her husband, his mate, the truth comes out and it's nothing he previously imagined.  in fact - while you the reader may like the guy in the beginning and find him more in the middle of things, by the end you realize maybe you both had your rosy glasses on throughout.  the truth is harder - that the people in your life you imagine are as happy to be in yours may actually be going through things that are unbearable, whether it's depression or actual events that leave scars.  in a nutshell the novel leads you to wonder if it's ever a good idea to pry deeply into other people's lives for answers.  just because you came out unscathed doesn't mean others were so lucky.  the book is also a bit of a mystery with clues here and there.  when i got to the end i immediately wanted to reread it, in part because i wanted to see where those clues came up.  mostly though, it was barnes' really poignant telling of what it is to get older and start to asses your life. 

here is an easier nutshell for my life lately, one that is smooth and shiny.  i was a featured etsy seller back in 2010 and they did a fun interview with me.  at the time we lived in a crummy rental and were dreaming of buying a house.  i was working in my kitchen and the pantry was for fabric storage.  the last question they asked me was, "where do you want to be in 10 years?".  well funnily enough i can see that most of it came true.  this year.  the last part of the puzzle.  i wanted to see italy again with my family and after saving money i've somehow managed a trip we're taking this summer, the 4 of us.  we'll be traveling by train and car through 4 countries over a period of 3 weeks.  it still seems unreal to me.  especially with a lot going on personally .. on top of that trying to get a house ready with so many animals - 5 chickens, 2 dogs, 2 cats .. a 50 gallon fresh water fish tank (oh yeah i love my fish).  it's just a lot - everything.  but we'll get there and i'm excited to have this experience with my kids.  i think it's something they will always remember and in ways a starting point.  sometimes just getting through school, homework, swim practice .. time to wake up again!  you get it.  yeah, i just want to sit across from my beautiful kids and look out the train window.  and have a drink:>

long, rambling post here .. my apologies.   lastly - in between all this fretting i've been working on a summer collection.  it's small but fun and perfect for hot weather.  that will be available mid-june.  and because you readers are probably the most loyal followers of modaspia i'll tell you here that the spring collection will go on sale the same day (june 13th).  30% off.  grazi mille !

u. xo


  • Love every bit of this post! Sometimes I feel like I understand less and less every day but in other ways life opens up and it’s true, there are some things we will never – or shouldn’t – pull apart and examine too closely. La vita e bella… Hope you’re all having a marvellous time in one of my favorite places!


  • Have an incredible trip, and safe travels! Can’t wait to see the summer collection in a few weeks, too!


  • Happy travels!I hope you guys have a wonderful time away.


  • thanks you guys .. xoxoxoxoxo


  • So wonderful that you’ll get to share a European adventure with your children and your husband! I do hope you’ll post some photos along the way ; ) Also, it’s always wonderful to come to your blog and hear about your life, Ursula. The 5th decade of life is certainly a challenge in many ways, as you’ve mentioned, and it forces us, for better or worse, to grow/evolve, I think. The one ‘lesson’ I’ve learned over the last 10 years, and taken to heart is to be mindful of each day and thankful—life is so short (dealing with aging parents and kids moving away will do that).


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